Saturday, March 5, 2011
But I like the knees I have now!
The more times I see this ad, the more concerned I become about the fact that some ad men decided that it would be worth spending lots of money creating it. I was not aware that there was some epidemic of knee failure going on which would in the very near future create the need for hundreds of thousands of people to suddenly begin comparison shopping for surgeons and mechanical parts to replace the ones G-d gave us.
At first, I just smirked and thought "gee, what a waste of money. For the few people out there who actually need this surgery, there are plenty of doctors to direct them to the proper specialists. Seriously- is this information they really need from a late-night tv ad?"
Then I started thinking- maybe these guys know something we don't. Maybe years of muscle atrophy, brought on by incessant sitting and web surfing, conditioned by the gradual elimination of recess and physical exercise in school, has rendered our knees more susceptible than ever before to early failure. Perhaps as we enter our third decade of an obesity epidemic, the good people at Smith & Nephew (what the hell?) have figured out that our knees just weren't built to sustain exaggerated stress levels over long periods of time. Maybe knee replacement surgery will become the braces of the older set- something you expect to receive as a kind of Rite of Passage, as long as you can afford it. Kind of a scary thought, no?
My dad had hip replacement surgery a few years ago. According to the college of Orthopedics, approximately 193,000 such surgeries are performed every year. Are knee replacement surgeries going to become just as common in the near future? Smith and Nephew seem to be banking on it.
Anyone else find it more than a little disturbing that as Americans become less active, hip and knee replacement surgery seems to be on the rise? I don't buy the "we need new knee surgery techniques because we are so active" theme of these ads- because it's just not true. Is it that people who ARE active these days are more likely to be recovering couch potatos who have been sedentary for years and likely to overdo it and hurt themselves?
So many questions. Which I guess kind of makes this an intriguing ad, darn it. Scary, though.